Research interest

The research of the Martens lab is focused on unraveling interactions in the (malignant) hematopoietic niche that drive the pathogenesis of hematological malignancies, such as multiple myeloma (MM) and acute leukemia (AML/ALL). To this end, we have developed models that aim to recreate the human (malignant) “hematopoietic niche” in vitro in a scaffold-based 3-D system and in vivo in humanized mice, by combining human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) with a ceramic scaffold material. These models, together with bioluminescent and fluorescent-based imaging technologies, allow to study the interaction of patient-derived MM and AML/ALL cells with the human microenvironment, as well as to develop novel chemo- and (cellular) immunotherapeutic interventions and monitor their efficacy.


Ongoing Projects ongoing (2014)

  • Unraveling interactions in the hematopoietic niche in Multiple Myeloma (PI’s: Martens, Groen, Raymakers; Dutch Cancer Society; 2012-2016
  • A humanized engineered bone marrow model for myeloma and leukemia. (PI’s Martens-Groen- C. Mitsiades (DFCI-Boston); Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS),:Quest for Cures program USA;  2014-2016
  • Combination therapy of Daratumumab (DARA) for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. Preclinical in vivo and in vitro studies. Janssen R&D, USA (2014-2016)
  • Individualizing myeloma treatment with BET bromodomain inhibitors. (PI’s: Mitsiades (DFCI-Boston)/Martens); Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), USA. 2014-2016
  • TOP – Towards Personalized medicine: defining the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma. FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IOF (Groen); 2012-2015
  • Therapeutic efficacy of HuMax-CD38 in an in vivo model for human acute myelocytic and lymphocytic leukemia. (PI’s Martens-Groen); Janssen R&D, USA (2013-2015)
  • Identifying the importance of stromal cell-derived IL-7 and TSLP in support ing pediatric B-ALL growth in vivo. (PI’s Schepers/Martens): WKZ Research Fund; 2012-2014
  • Anti CD44 for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. (Martens) Roche, Germany 2013-14


Finished projects

  • Therapeutic efficacy of HuMax-CD38 in an in vivo model for human myeloma. Martens; Genmab BV-NL, 2008-2013
  • The humanized Multiple Myeloma mouse model (PI: Martens) Senior Research grant, MMRF, USA 2010-2012
  • Development of a mouse model to study growth and differentiation of patient derived leukemic stem cells. PI: Martens. Vanderes Foundation; 2009-2011
  • Gene therapy for lysosomal storage diseases. (PI’s: Wagemaker, N. Wulffraat, Martens). Zon-NW Translational Stem Cell program; 2008-2010
  • Non-invasive bioluminescence imaging in animal models for stem cell transplantation, bone tissue engineering and osteoporosis.  Dutch Program for Tissue Engineering UGT6729: Pi’s: Martens, 2006-2010
  • The Impact of Regulatory T Cells on The Graft vs Tumor Effect (PI’s Mutis, Martens, Lokhorst)
  • Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) Grant: UK07-0567: Period2007-2010
  • Photon detection camera for real time non-invasive in vivo imaging. PI: Martens; Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) 2003
  • Improved tissue engineering of bone by combining advanced stem cell technology and vasculogenesis
  • Dutch Science Foundation. (Pi’s: Martens, Hagenbeek and Dhert). 2003-2006